California’s wealthy elite have been doing vey well during the coronavirus pandemic, despite economic shutdowns that have devastated small businesses and caused widespread job losses and disruption.
At the end of 2020, California had lost a record 1.6 million jobs during the pandemic. Nearly a half-million people stopped even trying to look for work. Business properties saw their value plummet more than 30%.
But California’s bank account is overflowing. As of January, the state’s tax collections were $10.5 billion ahead of projections. By the end of the fiscal year on July 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature could have a $19 billion surplus to spend.
[W]ith the pandemic forcing the closure of bars, restaurants, theme parks, sporting events and small businesses, lower-wage workers bore the brunt of the losses while the wealthier worked from home. The economic losses started at the bottom of the income ladder and so far they haven’t made their way up to the top.
With the rich doing well, thanks to the growing dominance of Silicon Valley, the rising stock market, and the health of Hollywood’s streaming entertainment industry for a stay-at-home nation, state revenues have soared far beyond expectations.
Earlier this year, as Breitbart News and others noted, the state reported so much revenue that it is likely to be required to return some to taxpayers under a provision adopted in 1979 known as the Gann limit.